Tristan chord

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A reference to the chord used in the opening phrase of Richard Wagner's opera Tristan and Isolde as part of the leitmotif attributed to the character Tristan.


Tristan chord (plural Tristan chords)

  1. (music) A chord in musical composition consisting originally of the notes F, B, D# and G# which can be translated more generally in intervalic terms as: augmented fourth, augmented sixth and augmented ninth above a root. Enharmonically it sounds like a half-diminished seventh chord (e.g. F-A♭-C♭-E♭), though in terms of musical analysis it can be interpreted in several ways.